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The Dark Side Of Goal Setting

And How To Avoid It

You’ve been told goal setting is
essential for success right?

I’ll bet you’ve even been told – at some point along the way – what goals you should take on. And even how to go about attaining those goals. But…I’ll bet no one ever told you:


There’s a Dark Side to goal setting…and it can really hurt you.


There are hidden goals living behind and beneath your stated goal. They chew big holes in your time, energy and confidence.


The cultures that shaped you may be (are likely) hijacking your efforts to accomplish consistently, sustainably…or peacefully. Yesterday’s thinking won’t support tomorrow’s achievements – or sustain today’s.

The influences that lurk below conscious awareness, shaping perception and behavior, can actively (and chronically) cause your goal setting to be hit-or-miss at best and soul-shriveling at worst. Those influences cause us to take on goals that aren’t ours at all but instead goals that:

Stem from someone else’s needs, priorities or agenda.

Reflect outdated Cultural narrative.

Require us to abandon, discount, dismiss ourselves, our needs and values…all for the sake of “success.”

And, oh, by the way: Much of the time, someone else is defining what your success is or should be. Or how to get there.

The Result

You take on responsibilities that aren’t yours to take on, leading to a go-push-crash pattern because –  no matter how much  you want this thing called balance in your life – the Dark Side insists you MUST strive to “do it all.”

This is a set up for experiencing frustration, exhaustion, confusion and loss of faith in yourself.

Not fun, Not productive

No wonder so few people formally set goals, and even fewer achieve them. BUT…

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You can  avoid the havoc created by the Dark Side of Goal Setting, including:


Overwork, over-commitment, taking on what is not yours to take on


Feeling torn between time at work and time with loved ones (including yourself)


Lack of self-care and negative impact on well-being


Exhaustion, disheartenment, erosion of confidence

There is an easy way to tell when a goal is life-giving vs. life-draining and how to rework that goal so it – and you! – get freed up from the Dark Side.

Take “Sarah,” for example.

Shortly after taking on a new position with increased responsibilities, visibility (and pressure), she said, “Help me get more organized.”

We could have jumped right into strategies and tasks related to organizing her office and her workday.



That would be seduction to the dark side


Through exploring what Sarah really wanted, we discovered she was feeling wobbly and out of control due to the learning curve in her new position.

Focusing only on the surface level goal (getting organized) would have set Sarah up to get caught in a Dark Side loop, circling repeatedly to chase the “get organized” goal, and not addressing what was really going on for her – the feeling of being out of control.

By addressing the underlying goals, the goals behind the goal, Sarah was able to shift her “wobbles” and gain confidence and traction in her job.

This is just one example of how stepping out of the Dark Side can help you gain clarity and reduce frustration when you stop unproductive circling and second-guessing.

This 2-hour, self-paced workshop, The Dark Side of Goal Setting – and How To Avoid It, grew out of my work with countless Sarahs over the past 30 years.

Wondering if this is for you?  It is if you…

Are ready to stop driving, dismissing or discounting yourself for the sake of outcomes.

Want goals that give you life vs. bleeding you dry.

Love the idea of goals that deepen your relationship with yourself instead of requiring you to abandon yourself, your needs, or your values.

What this Workshop will give you…


You’ll walk away with a new relationship with your goals and the ability to quickly discern whether or not a goal is appropriate for you.


You will be able to spot evidence of the Dark Side at work, and know what to do when it shows up.


You will have a step-by-step process with 2 powerful tools to help identify how aligned a goal is with what you really want.


Plus, you’ll get access to a bonus tool, that along with the other tools, can be applied immediately to any goal / desire / objective / intention.

A few words about goals and resilience

We live in a time when resilience is critical. Change is no longer an event but a constant backdrop to everyday life.

Understanding – and addressing – the impact of unceasing change is crucial for helping us continue to build resilience in a time when resilience is essential.

Goal setting, as we’ve been traditionally taught it, compromises resilience by eating bandwidth, sucking energy, and derailing us.

Our old approach is not just bad for business, it is bad for our health.

Bottom line: Goal setting as we’ve understood it with the Strive-At-All-Costs-to-Achieve perspective? Is not only unproductive over the long haul; it is actually damaging.

We can Change this. Now.


Start right away by applying the simple techniques I will share with you in workshop.


Proceed at your own pace and review each lesson as often as you like.

Imagine what can become possible when you…

Prioritize self-care and have it be something you enjoy doing (instead of just Another Thing To Do On Your List)

Discover new opportunities when you leave the “shoulds” behind

Move beyond perfectionism (A.K.A. The Dark Side) to model appropriate standards of excellence

Reduce your frustration and exhaustion levels

Stop getting derailed and second-guessing yourself

Ready to leave the dark side of goal setting behind? You can, starting now, starting here.


Q: Lyn, can I use this for any goals?
A: Yes. Whether it is that last 5 pounds you want to lose or the exercise routine you want to maintain, or resolving an issue with someone at work, the tools and practices in The Dark Side of Goal Setting (DSOGS), will help you get to the essence of what you really want and identify the factors that are likely to derail you.
Q: How can this workshop be helpful for me if I don’t like goal setting?
A: This is a great question, and relevant for SO many people. In the workshop, I give you a new framing of why goal setting has not been resonant for you. This is addressed in the Q&A video portion of the workshop – because you aren’t the only person to have asked me this question. Spoiler alert: I think it’s your inner wisdom speaking to you, and in the workshop, I’ll say more about why this wisdom is so important for you.

Also, with the tools I offer you in the workshop, you can partner with that inner wisdom to have a very different (translation: life-giving, life-affirming) relationship with goal setting.


Q: How long is the workshop?
A: Total time is around 2 hours, but it is broken into convenient bite-sized pieces, so any time you have a few extra minutes, you can jump back in. Because it is self-paced and the content is available for you 24/7, you can go into the workshop any time you like, as often as you like.


Q: What if you update the program; will I still have access?
A: Yes! By securing your ticket now, you will be notified and have access to any updates in this workshop.


Q: Where is the workshop?
A: All program content is conveniently located online, so you can access it 24/7 wherever you have internet access.


Q: How do I access the workshop?
A: Click the Get my workshop ticket button and you’ll be taken to the registration page. After completing your registration, you should see a confirmation page, and shortly after that, a confirmation email in your inbox with access instructions.


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